It’s Boris for Five More Years
Wrapped in scarves and running on Bovril through the night, volunteers at polling stations up and down the United Kingdom counted up ballot papers. For any out-of-towners reading, the cities, towns, and counties of Britain are divided into constituencies for political parties to fight over. Members of Parliament (MP) are locally voted into House of Commons seats to represent their constituents. 650 constituencies mean 650 seats up for grabs!
If one party wins the majority of seats, its leader (then Prime Minister) claims free-will to boss about the country. If a single party can’t win a majority, it’s a hung Parliament, and the Prime Minister is forced to get on his knees in front of smaller parties for support. Here’s how this election played out:
🏅364 seats (+47 from 2017): Bojo’s Conservative Party (There’s your majority, Boris!).
203 seats (-59): Corby’s Labour Party (Untenable. He’s stepped down).
11 seats (-1): Jo Swanson’s Lib Dems (Drab! She’s also stepped down).
48 seats (+13): The SNP Scotts (Big highland and IndyRef2 foothold!)
23 seats (+0): Lord Buckethead and “Others” (The protest votes…)
Wow, that wasn’t even close! BoJo’s Tories just hit their left-wing rivals in red for six (well, 74 to be specific!). It’s a positive outcome for markets that foreign exchange traders celebrated immediately by bidding up the pound 2.1%. For Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, however, it’s an emphatic personal and political rejection. Here’s how the popular vote stacked up!
🏅43.6% (+1.2%): Tories
32.2% (-7.1%): Labour
11.5% (4.1%): Lib Dems
3.1% (0.9%): Scottish National Party
National turnout: 67.25%
Made to watch Prime Minister Johnson command a Thatcher-esque majority that most likely begs two terms, Corbyn’s agreed to stand down. Some investors will be thinking, “phew!” His firm but fair stance on corporations and wishy-washy Brexit agenda didn’t fill markets with any great gusto.
As for Brexit, that’s now a done deal in many more ways than before. Touch wood, Britain will probably be out of the European Union next month with a free trade agreement. Leavers making Brexit-motivated votes all chose the Conservative Party. Remainers, on the other hand, were spread out across the rest of the parties. That’s why they were unable to muster the numbers to stop the Tories’ Brexit plans as they may have wished.
From here, the UK will negotiate the loose ends of its divorce with Brussels through 2020. All eyes will turn to gross domestic product (GDP) growth, having lagged recently, as well as small, domestically-concentrated companies on Britain’s FTSE 250 (+4.2%) and All Share exchanges (+2.2%). They should react with increased volatility to business and consumer confidence as it’s revealed in the New Year! So, you confident?